The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested five members of a south Florida crime ring who committed several smash and grab vehicle burglaries in Sarasota yesterday and then used the victims’ credit cards at area stores.
The investigation into the crime spree began around 7:00 p.m., when two women noticed their vehicle windows were smashed and purses stolen outside of Funtastics Gymnastics & Cheerleading on Ashton Road. Deputies investigating that crime received a report of three additional vehicle burglaries at Twin Lakes Park on Clark Road.
Within the hour deputies were able to alert members of the Tactical Unit to locations where the stolen credit cards were being used. TAC deputies located two suspicious vehicles at the Cattlemen Road Walmart and stopped them as they left the parking lot. Most of the stolen property has been recovered. Detectives viewed store surveillance video which showed the suspects using the stolen credit cards. Some of the suspects had existing warrants or committed other offenses during this investigation.
At this time, the suspects are facing some 49 charges all totaled, including multiple counts of Vehicle Burglary, Criminal Use of Personal Information, Fleeing to Elude and Providing False Names to Law Enforcement while Legally Detained. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.
Arrested in this crime spree are Ft. Lauderdale residents Marcus Thomas, DOB 2/11/86, 3231 NW 18th Place; Christopher Pierre, 2/24/89, 2851 NW 23rd Street; Jackie McBurrows, DOB 4/5/88, 711 SE 15th Avenue, Apt. 2; Lionel Bain, Jr., DOB 1/5/84, 4231 NW 19th Street #250; and Nick Arline, DOB 7/14/83, 2615 NW 17th Street.
The suspects drove a silver 2012 Chrysler 200 and a silver 2004 Cadillac SUV, both of which were impounded. Detectives are trying to locate additional suspects, including a woman seen using one of the victim’s credit cards at CVS in the 5200 block of Clark Road.
Anyone with information about these suspects is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office once again would remind citizens not to leave valuables or purses in their vehicles to help prevent this crime of opportunity. For additional tips refer to the press release issued on the subject in May of this year.